26 January, 2010

There is an Octopus in the Freezer!

 .... yes, there is one in the freezer.  I'm pretty sure that is our Thursday night dinner.  Anyway, I was super busy the past week... as you'll soon see!

Wednesday is my busy day for classes, but today the art history class was cancelled. It won't start up until next week. We had a few extra hours, so I went to see Michaelangelo's David in Academia.  No pictures were allowed, but it was breathtaking seeing it up close and in real life. I'm not a person who's big into art, but it was something I will remember for quite a while.

Today was the big dinner welcoming everyone in the program.  It was a HUGE meal.I thought we were finished after the bruschetta, meats, cheeses, salads, etc... but no.  We then had three more courses of pasta and a chocolate dessert!  They liked us so much they gave all the tables bottles of champagne.  They claimed "this has never happened before" which we took with a grain of salt, but after conversing with students in the past, the claim was validated!  It was indeed the first time they loved a group that much!  The amazing dinner culminated with an evening in the city.

My host family has another daughter who is 30.  She and her boyfriend come over for dinner once a week.  We had some kind of meat which was delicious, and the table was covered by a tablecloth.  They played music, and it was truly a wonderful event.  They both speak English, so it was very easy to communicate.  You can tell that they are a close family, because everyone was speaking Italian loudly and quickly, very excited to catch up with one another!  We skyped Laura after dinner, so I was able to finally "meet" her!

After dinner we called it a night since they were here for 3 hours.  I'll look forward to that every week!

Friday only has one class!  I sadly do not remember much of what I did on Friday. I do know that I went to bed early since we had a hike planned for the next day. OH! A huge group of us went to see the sunset at Michaelangelo Piazale.  It was GORGEOUS seeing the city lit up by the last remaining sunlight.  We left the school at 3, and I didn't return home until 7.  It's amazing how much walking I've been doing.  Pictures from this sunset will be posted soon as well.

We had my favorite meal thus far for dinner. Some kind of pasta with a chicken-type sauce.  Loved it.

Hike in the Fiesole hills!  I have a lot of pictures from this, which I'll post very soon.  It was a gorgeous place, and a decent hike.  There were caves along the way and we were able to peek in some. This was the place that Michaelangelo had one of his servants try on the para gliding wings, and was the first human to "fly".  Sadly, this servant died, but they had a memorial for him marking the place where he took off.

Afterwards, we went to a pizzeria with excellent food.  A few of us decided to walk back from Fiesole to Firenze.  It was a beautiful walk, but rather long.  It took us close to 3 hours since were lost for a bit of it.

Saturday night a few of us went to Appertivi at Zoe's.  I think I explained this before, but Appertivo is when you buy a drink for 4-7 Euro, and then have access to unlimited food.  We made this our dinner, and actually met our professor there!  We went and had Gelato with him, and then went back to his apartment to chat.  It was late by the time we were done chatting, so I walked around the city for a little while, and then took a taxi home.

I slept in nice and late on Sunday :)  I woke up and went for the most beautiful run I have ever gone on.  When Dad comes to visit, I will most certainly take him on this route.  I passed by Michaelangelo Piazale, which is where all those other pictures from last weekend were taken.  Imagine those views the entire run!

By the time I finished running, it was getting later, so I went to the city to look for skinny jeans.  I went to the shops my host sister shops at according to my host mother.  We have them both in America- Benetton and Zara's.  I loved them both, but didn't buy anything quite yet.  I'll get to that eventually :)

For dinner we had soup with noodles in a broth.  I filled up on two bowls of it I loved it so much... but I didn't realize we still had two more courses!! It was meat and vegetables, so not my favorite, but the soup was excellent.

Monday I have only one class, but super early (830 am!)  I decided to go out and explore the city on my own since I was done at 10am.  I planned to walk around for a bit, get lunch, and then return home for a run.  Little did I know.... I found a "tabacchi" store (literally a tobacco shop, but they sell little trinkets, candies, souvenirs, and what i went there for- stamps).  It was my first conversation completely in Italian where I knew every word! My host mother and Italian teacher both gave me the phrase to ask for a stamp to mail something to America. He responded to me with the price, I paid him and said "Grazie" (thank you), and he responded with "Prego" (welcome). I was so proud :)

That's when the problems started. I wanted to find a grocery store because I had not been to one yet.  As I walked, I went in little shops to look at shoes and clothes, and then turned down other little ally ways to see what shops were hidden there. I even went into a bookstore and attempted to read the books intended for children ages 0 - 3 years old haha.  Anyway, to make a long story short, I suddenly realized I had no idea where I was, and spent the next 2.5 hours getting home!! I told Patrizia about it later that night, and she reminded me I can always  call her if I get lost like that again.  It actually was fine, because I was never scared since it was light out, but my legs were very sore.  I did not return home in time for a run before dark however :(  I do not want to run at night just yet, despite lights everywhere.

Before dinner, I found a little caffe that a lot of students were doing homework in! Germans were behind me, Italians were next to me, and possibly Swedish girls were on the other side of the shop.  It was two stories and everyone was doing homework and studying.  It was a bit of a trek, but I will most surely be visiting there quite often.

Dinner was marvelous as always.  Guido cooked it, but then left for the "Palestra" (gym) so it was just Patrizia and I.  It was some kind of noodles with vegetables in the sauce.  Molto bene!  I then met some friends at a music place a few bridges down.  We were the youngest people there by probably 20 years or so, but the live band performing played English songs for us, and I had a wonderful time.  It was a really cool place that I'll probably return!

Tuesday (today)
hmmm.. it is clear I should keep up with this every day so that I remember what I do, because a lot of it has already slipped my mind.  This morning when I woke up coffee was already ready for me, and I decided to just peek around the kitchen.  I wish that they would save left overs, but I've heard from friends that everyone throws them away.  I looked in the freezer to see what we'll be having for dinner, and lo and behold, THERE IS AN OCTOPUS IN THERE! I'm guessing this is for the weekly dinner on Thursday with the daughter, Alessandra and the boyfriend, Alessandro.  Not sure how I'll be feeling about it...

time for class now, but I will try to post pictures later today!

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